Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Capsule Review: Collateral (2004)

Even devoted Michael Mann devotees might have been somewhat suspicious of a film starring Tom Cruise as a ruthless hired killer tormenting a cab driver (played by Jamie Foxx) as he takes out a list of men marked for execution, but Mann does his usual excellent job bringing the city of Los Angeles to life and wrings some surprising performances from his actors. Cruise is fine as the murderous Vincent, but it's Jamie Foxx who really impresses with a nervy, detailed performance that won him plenty of acclaim (and an Oscar nomination). What could have been a predictable, lazy thriller is helped immensely by Mann's assured direction and use of digital cameras to achieve a unique look. The ending is flawed, and there are some dull bits, but Collateral is simply more entertaining than it has any right to be.

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